In a joint interview on 60 Minutes Sunday night, Democrat Chris Coons and Republican Jeff Flake explained that last-minute lobbying by the Delaware senator helped convince Flake to condition his Judiciary Committee vote in favor of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court on a one-week FBI investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct.
“I knew I couldn’t move forward without hitting the pause button,” Flake said on the CBS news program. “This is tearing our country apart and we have do something.”
The retiring senator from Arizona and Coons have developed a friendship over the last several years which led to a dramatic discussion between the two in a small ante-room as the Judiciary Committee was planning to approve Kavanaugh’s nomination for consideration by the full Senate.
“We went into a phone booth that we barely fit in,“ said Flake.
During the program, Coons also revealed he was contacted during Thursday’s testimony by numerous friends who disclosed they had been victims of abuse.
“My phone Is just blowing up – it was stunning – the number of people I was hearing from in the hearing, it was hard to know what to listen to,” said Coons.
“You’ve known me a very long time, and I was raped as a child, and I’ve never told anyone before, and I’m sharing it with you,” he recounted people telling him.
Coons told 60 Minutes reporter Scott Pelley that he believed the one week FBI investigation will result in a better outcome for the Senate and the country.
“I think we will be in a different place because … survivors will feel that Dr. Ford’s story was heard … or Judge Kavanaugh and his family may well have had exculpatory evidence come forward.”